What is a floristic study?

A floristic study inventories and documents all plant species within a given area (defined either naturally or politically), in order to understand the distribution, frequency, ecology, etc. of all species. In a floristic study, plants are collected as well as other metadata about the plant, such as it’s precise location, habitat, substrate, slope aspect, associated species etc. at each site where the collections are made. Plant collections involve removal of only enough plant material so as to be representative and necessary for identification and that can be preserved on herbarium sheets. In the case of rare plants, collections may be restricted to a single voucher. Floristics studies are important because they provide baseline information and data about the the current distribution and frequency of species. This type of information is needed  for conservation efforts to identify and monitor which species are near extinction or endangered by indicating which areas of the world have high diversity that should be conserved. Floristic studies are also important in other fields of science including Systematics, Taxonomy, Ecology, Population Genetics, etc.

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